Clinician Profile: Dr. Sophie Westwood, Clinical Psychologist

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Dr. Sophie Westwood, Clinical Psychologist, LIH Olivia's Place Shanghai

Dr. Sophie Westwood, Clinical Psychologist, LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai

Dr. Sophie Westwood is a Clinical Psychologist at LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai.

Dr. Sophie Westwood is a registered Clinical Psychologist with the UK Health & Professions Care Council (HCPC) and a chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS), Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) and Child and Young Person’s Faculty. Sophie has an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a post-graduate certificate in evidence-based psychological treatments and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She has worked in a variety of mental health settings with people of all ages. Sophie works at LIH-Olivia’s Place offering psycho-educational and neuropsychological assessments, psychological therapies to children, and their families, and training and workshops to educators and health professionals. She speaks English.


How long have you been in China?

I moved to China with my husband in January 2015. We had visited China on holiday 10 years previously and although we enjoyed our vacation enormously, I had never imagined that we would be returning to live and work in China!


Why did you choose to work at LIH Olivia’s Place?

After an initial visit to LIH Olivia’s Place I was very impressed by the child-centered facilities and ethos of the company. I was particularly drawn to the mission of helping children and their families to access therapeutic input regardless of their financial circumstances, and I was welcomed into the role by a team of warm, supportive, and professional colleagues. I have since thoroughly enjoyed meeting children and families from all over the world and feel very privileged to be in a position to listen to their stories and work with them to facilitate change.


Why did you choose your field?

I began studying psychology when I was 16 years old and I enjoyed learning about how we can scientifically measure and understand human behavior. At university I volunteered with people with intellectual disability at an evening activities club whilst studying for my Psychology degree. I enjoyed supporting people to engage in games and activities that allowed both volunteers and club members to share their experiences and have fun together. I decided to follow my dad’s advice and choose a job that I would enjoy, and so I chose a career working with people, applying psychological theory help build a life that is meaningful for the individual.


What are some of the most rewarding experiences you have had in your chosen profession?

This is a really hard question as there are so many to choose from.


What’s your favorite thing about living in China and working at LIH Olivia’s Place?

The culture. I love living in a culture that is so different from the UK. Even though Shanghai is a very modern Chinese city, I love to see people eating their xiaolongbao, queueing up for steaming baozi on the street, and watch the washing being hung out from every window and on nearly every road whilst cycling to work.


At LIH Olivia’s Place I value being part of a working culture that is accepting of our cultural differences within the staff team and embraces the diverse skills, knowledge, and experience that each of my colleagues brings to the team. I feel very lucky to be working for a company that values evidence-based interventions and is working extremely hard to translate this into offering high-quality health care in China.


What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?

One of my life goals is to learn a second language (I’m afraid to say that even after 7 years of French at school I still can’t construct a sentence!) and so I hope that I will either still be living in China or perhaps South America or Spain. One of the most exciting things about being a clinical psychologist is that because there are so many ways in which we can work to support people experiencing a broad range of emotional and psychological difficulties I know that I will always be learning and challenging myself.